Labour Weekend Cometh!

WEEDBUSTING WORKING BEE, Saturday 24th October 1pm

What better way to mark Labour Weekend than with a Weedbusting Working Bee! Chris Woudenberg has sent out his call to arms, so grab some hand tools and safety gear and join us in the bush below the North East side of the Maungaruawahine summit. We are still tackling the awful elaeagnus that is thriving in the native bush, it’s thorny stuff and you will need long sleeved shirts and long pants to protect your skin.


Saturday 24th October

1pm til mid-late afternoon, any help for any length of time will still make a difference.

Park in the cemetery paddock 300m past the Youth Hostel, Chris will have his car parked in there so look out for him. From there follow the yellow rope up into the bush, listen out for the roaring of chainsaws!

What to bring:


  • Safety glasses
  • Gardening gloves (leather preferably)
  • Shoes or boots

Nice to have but not so important

  • Ear muffs
  • Overalls
  • Dust masks
  • Clothing that covers arms and legs
  • Food and drink

Tools if you have them,  don’t worry – we also have spares

  • Tree loppers
  • Garden hand saws
  • Chain saws
  • Brush Cutters
  • Secateurs
  • Fuel for power tools – important!

Please do try to come along for a little while, it’s a huge job but we are making visible progress (have a look from the carpark bridge) and our native bush can now regenerate and provide food for all the birdlife.

See you there!


Our dotterels have paired up and are well into their nesting season.

Please keep yourself and dogs well away from any nesting sites, especially when there are signs and roped off areas visible, the nests are so vulnerable when the parents are scared off them.

Here is the latest from our wonderful dotterel ranger Frouk Miller (contact details: ph 027 285 6519, email

“Hi everyone

I can’t believe 6 weeks have flown by already. It’s been a hectic and somewhat stressful 6 weeks for me trying to get familiar with all the beaches, find out the nesting places of our wonderful birds and trying to meet and get to know a few of you.

One thing is for sure…I cannot say enough how valuable our minders are and what a fantastic job you all do out there. I’m truly overwhelmed by your input and efforts.

We’ve had plenty of action in some areas, and birds taking their time in others. Simpson’s Beach went off like a rocket and we’ve had 7 pairs nesting there. About 11 chicks have hatched but we have lost around 4. Lots of trapping in place and trying to do what we can to keep them safe. Another 3 chicks have hatched at Pauanui and to date they’re growing well. We’ve lost a fair few eggs from nests and pairs looking very forlorn on the beaches, but also lots of eggs in nests waiting for D-day.

Within the next week or two we have a number of clutches due to hatch. I have found that the Black-backed gulls are one of my biggest problems. I try not to disturb nesting Dotterels especially when these gulls are hovering. I witnessed one swoop down on a nest and take it’s only egg!! We’ve caught a few feral cats and minders are reporting good trapping numbers on stoats and hedgehogs…keep up the great work!

With Labour Weekend upon us this weekend I hope we are able to keep some control over dogs and people on beaches near fenced Dotterel sites. If there are any concerns please let me know. It’s also the start to a week of spring tides…26th October to 2nd November. Again, let me know of any concerns you have regarding possible nest difficulties near high tide.

It’s been a pleasure meeting the people I have, we’ve even recruited a few new minders. Although extremely stressful at times and long days trying to get around all the beaches, I have truly fallen in love with these devoted and brave little birds. They have definitely got the better of me most of the time with their dramatic displays and aloof attitudes.

Lisa Kearney is now also on board and will be looking after Otama, Opito and all beaches north of Coromandel township for now. A grateful welcome Lisa!

I hope you manage a restful Labour Weekend yourselves and with thanks I also say ‘keep up the great work’.

Cheers for now
Frouk Miller”

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